06 June 2010

"but he is a Christian!"

The Anglican Church of Canada is in general synod this week. I strongly recommend their (vastly better than TEC) electronic communication efforts. At http://www.livestream.com/gs2010/video?clipId=pla_4c4d1355-c064-46e6-861c-1623d1d188fc&utm_source=lslibrary&utm_medium=ui-thumb you will find a lot of very straightforward electronic coverage. We should be 1/2 as good.

One should also note that the Canadians manage something we do not -- a unicameral synod. They do not let their bishops go off and be elite. Hurrah for Canada.

Today they listened to reports of two commissions working on the issue of pastoral care for lesbian and gay unions. They have been studying this a lot while we politic about it. And they are blessed not to have a coastal bias so their study includes the whole country! I am thinking they are way ahead of us in a number of ways.


One of the reports they heard Sunday was by the bishop of Toronto. He described a visit he made to a sister diocese in Uganda. In that visit he met with a number of HIV positive members of the church. After the meeting a member of the group went to the native leader a catechist and asked him, "I thought you told us he is a North American bishop?" The catechist said, "Yes." The member said, "But he is a Christian!" The catechist said, "Yes." The members said, "I see. I must go back to my village and tell them we were taught wrong."

The bishop told this story to illustrate why there is a need for more conversations. Not to win the day but to make who is speaking clear -- that we all affirm that Jesus is lord. That is true but there is another point here.

This man is in touch with his archbishop, bishop and national church. He is in touch with those who operate what we call, GafCon, CANA and AC-NA. He was surprised that a Canadian bishop is a Christian.

I offer you three thoughts:

1) Uganda's hierarchy lies to its people. I wondered how they would explain the ending of American aid after they started declining it. Now I know. They lied and probably continue to lie.

2) Both ACoCanada and TEC need to get their stories told! Stories are subversive and yes telling Ugandan, and I suspect other Anglicans around the world the truth will subvert some self serving hierarchies. I am very much OK with that. Those people need a shot of honesty and fewer first class tickets to dishonest conferences.

3) Rowan Williams is an idiot. Coddling these hierarchies is not building bridges; it is not maintaining the church: it is facilitating dishonesty.



Wormwood's Doxy said...

Excellent post, Jim--I agree with everything you said.

Truth is always the first casualty of a power grab. I think it was no accident that Pilate asked Jesus "What is truth?"


JimB said...

"Truth is the first casualty in a power grab" Now there is a really good observation.


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